Gone With the Wind

1939

Gone With the Wind

Critics Consensus

Filmed and presented on a scale not seen in modern productions, Gone with the Wind is, if not the definitive Hollywood film, then certainly near the top of the list.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 93

93%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 293,473
User image

Watch it now

Gone With the Wind Photos

Movie Info

Gone With the Wind boils down to a story about a spoiled Southern girl's hopeless love for a married man. Producer David O. Selznick managed to expand this concept, and Margaret Mitchell's best-selling novel, into nearly four hours' worth of screen time, on a then-astronomical 3.7-million-dollar budget, creating what would become one of the most beloved movies of all time. Gone With the Wind opens in April of 1861, at the palatial Southern estate of Tara, where Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) hears that her casual beau Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) plans to marry "mealy mouthed" Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland). Despite warnings from her father (Thomas Mitchell) and her faithful servant Mammy (Hattie McDaniel), Scarlett intends to throw herself at Ashley at an upcoming barbecue at Twelve Oaks. Alone with Ashley, she goes into a fit of histrionics, all of which is witnessed by roguish Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), the black sheep of a wealthy Charleston family, who is instantly fascinated by the feisty, thoroughly self-centered Scarlett: "We're bad lots, both of us." The movie's famous action continues from the burning of Atlanta (actually the destruction of a huge wall left over from King Kong) through the now-classic closing line, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Holding its own against stiff competition (many consider 1939 to be the greatest year of the classical Hollywood studios), Gone With the Wind won ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress (Vivien Leigh), and Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to win an Oscar). The film grossed nearly 192 million dollars, assuring that, just as he predicted, Selznick's epitaph would be "The Man Who Made Gone With the Wind." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Clark Gable
as Rhett Butler
Vivien Leigh
as Scarlett O'Hara
Leslie Howard
as Ashley Wilkes
Olivia de Havilland
as Melanie Hamilton
Hattie McDaniel
as Mammy, Manny
Thomas Mitchell
as Gerald O'Hara
Barbara O'Neil
as Ellen O'Hara, Ellen, his wife
Evelyn Keyes
as Suellen, Suelllen O'Hara
Ann Rutherford
as Careen O'Hara, Carreen O'Hara
George Reeves
as Stuart Tarleton
Victor Jory
as Jonas Wilkerson
Howard Hickman
as John Wilkes
Rand Brooks
as Charles Hamilton
Carroll Nye
as Frank Kennedy
Alicia Rhett
as India Wilkes
Laura Hope Crewes
as Aunt 'Pittypat' Hamilton, Aunt Pittypat Hamilton
Harry Davenport
as Dr. Meade
Jane Darwell
as Dolly Merriwether
Mary Anderson
as Maybelle Merriwether
Ona Munson
as Belle Watling
Ward Bond
as Yankee Captain Tom, Tom, a Yankee Captain
Cammie King
as Bonnie Blue Butler
Mickey Kuhn
as Beau Wilkes
Paul Hurst
as Yankee Deserter
Isabel Jewell
as Emmy Slattery
Yakima Canutt
as Renegade
Marcella Martin
as Cathleen Calvert
Jackie Moran
as Phil Meade
Leona Roberts
as Mrs. Meade, Caroline Meade
Terry Shero
as Fanny Elsing
Lee Phelps
as Bartender
Philip Trent
as Bearded Confederate on Steps at Tara, Gentleman, later Bearded Confederate on Steps at T
Irving Bacon
as Corporal, The Corporal
Tom Tyler
as Commanding Officer
William Bakewell
as Mounted Officer
Robert Elliott
as Yankee Major
Si Jenks
as Yankee on Street
Emerson Treacy
as Man (During Reconstruction)
Lester Dorr
as Man (During Reconstruction)
John Wray
as Prison Gang Overseer
Trevor Bardette
as Man (During Reconstruction)
Marjorie Reynolds
as Guest at Twelve Oaks
James Bush
as Gentleman
Ralph Brooks
as Gentleman
Cliff Edwards
as Reminiscent Soldier
Louis Jean Heydt
as Hungry Soldier Holding Beau Wilkes, Hungry Soldier
Eddy Chandler
as Sergeant, Sergeant at Hospital
John Arledge
as Dying Soldier
Roscoe Ates
as Convalescent Soldier
Eric Linden
as An Amputation Case, Amputation Case
George Hackathorne
as Wounded Soldier
Frank Coghlan Jr.
as Collapsing Soldier, Exhausted Boy
Guy Wilkerson
as Wounded Card Player
Frank Faylen
as Doctor's Aide, Soldier Aiding Dr. Meade
William Stack
as Minister
Ernest Whitman
as Carpetbagger's Friend
William Sterling
as Returning Veteran
George Meeker
as Poker-Playing Captain
Wallis Clark
as Poker-Playing Yankee Captain, Poker-Playing Captain
Adrian Morris
as Carpetbagger Orator
J.M. Kerrigan
as Johnny Gallagher
Olin Howland
as Yankee Businessman, A Carpetbagger Businessman
Blue Washington
as His Companion, Renegade's Companion
Lillian Kemble-Cooper
as Bonnie's Nurse in London (as L. Kemble-Cooper), Bonnie's Nurse
Louise Carter
as Bandleader's Wife
Harry Strang
as Tom's Aide
Lee Murray
as Drummer Boy
View All

News & Interviews for Gone With the Wind

Critic Reviews for Gone With the Wind

All Critics (93) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (84) | Rotten (9)

  • "Gone With the Wind" offers the kind of big, rich, opulent experience the movies are in a unique position to offer but seldom do.

    Oct 1, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • If the story had been cut short and tidied up at the point marked by the interval, and if the personal drama had been made subservient to a cinematic treatment of the central theme, then Gone With the Wind might have been a really great film.

    Feb 28, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The film's subtle racism is insidious, going to great lengths to enshrine the myth that the Civil War wasn't fought over slavery - an institution the film unabashedly romanticizes.

    Jun 27, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • There has never been a picture like David O. Selznick's production of Gone With the Wind.

    Feb 22, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • No one watches Gone with the Wind for historical accuracy. What keeps us coming back is four-hours of epic romance in gorgeous Technicolor.

    Feb 22, 2015 | Rating: 4/5

    Cath Clarke

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It's remarkable that after spending almost eight hours of my existence in front of this film, I can remember only two points vividly.

    Feb 25, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Gone With the Wind

  • Oct 02, 2018
    A movie that's certainly worth watching, but it's hard not to be conflicted, and it's a tough one to rate. Positives: - Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh are outstanding in their roles of these two selfish people, who, while difficult to like, spiral around each other and deliver iconic Hollywood moments. He recognizes they're cut from the same cloth and loves her for it, she sees the same thing and hates him. A sexual current runs through their relationship from the first time he undresses her with his eyes, and she remarks "He looks as if he knows what I look like without my shimmy." Later he'll tell her "You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how," and it's clear without saying it when he helps her what he wants in return (after all, he's "not a marrying man"). Gable's character is perceptive throughout the movie, and he's an interesting mix of rogue, gallant, bemused observer, and doting father. - The filmmaking is extraordinary, particularly for 1939. There are exquisite scenes in glorious color, and the soundtrack is fantastic. War-time shots in the first half, like the horse and carriage escaping a massive fire, the one of all the wounded laid out, and the operation are memorable. - Hattie McDaniel is a delight to watch in the role of Mammy, the tough-minded servant who tries to keep a proper sense of decorum and the willful Scarlett in line. While some criticized her for taking a stereotypical role (similar to the criticism Anna May Wong suffered), this was the part available, and it was a step forward for her to take it, own it, and win an Oscar. Special favors had to be called in just to allow her to get her in to the Cocoanut Grove nightclub for the Oscars, and even then she had to sit in the back at a small table. I recently visited her simple grave in Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery, where she was buried instead of Hollywood Cemetery because she wasn't allowed in to the latter. She was discriminated against even in death, and it's important to remember that racism and segregation weren't just occurring in the past, or only in the Jim Crow South. - There is a feminist message in the strength of the two main female characters. Scarlett is manipulative and shallow, but she's also tough and a survivor. She makes it through bleak times, shoots a ravaging Union soldier in the face, and at one point while trying to run a business "Great balls of fire! Don't bother me anymore, and don't call me sugar!" Similarly, while Melanie (Olivia de Havilland) can be almost maddeningly pure, seeing the good in everyone despite their obvious evil, she acts as an almost Christ-like role model. Negatives: - There is no point sugar-coating this: the movie, and the book it's based on, is racist. It perpetuates the horrifying myth of the loyal, docile, and simple slave. These smiling African-Americans have no interest in freedom, and in the few scenes they're in, they look simply like employees of Plantation, Inc. The character of Prissy is feeble-minded and helpless. The film tried to avoid controversy and be as neutral as possible, but what we see for the most part are essentially cartoons. - From its opening credits, the movie perpetuates a myth about an entire way of life, that the South was noble and filled with honorable people, and now sadly all of that is gone. Historically this is inaccurate, and morally it's outrageous. And yet, 70+ years after the war, this was the narrative, with a message diametrically opposed to that of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'. The slaveholders are shown to be kind and thoughtful aristocrats, and it's instead the Yankee carpetbaggers who are portrayed as cruel and vicious. Deviations from the book are apparently rather modest, but one major one is Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) and another character no longer being members of the KKK; instead they go off to a 'political meeting'. Before the war, Ashley says that "Most of the miseries of the world were caused by wars, and when the wars were over, no one ever knew what they were about," as if this particular war fit that case - being fought over for some vague reason. After the war, he says without a hint of irony "I will not make money out of the enforced labor and misery of others." Even Scarlett points out the hypocrisy, but it's as if this male voice, this Major in the Confederate Army can't bring himself to mention slavery or race issues. This is consistent with the shameful Southern apologia that has never truly been dissipated, recent statue removal notwithstanding. - In addition to my problems with his role, Leslie Howard does not fit here. He does not seem like a Southern gentleman from the period at all, and does not bring nearly the authenticity that Gable brings in his scenes of passion. In an otherwise fine cast, he is quite weak. - The second half of the movie is far too melodramatic, and practically a soap opera. To some this is faithful to the book, entertaining, and helpful to create an epic feel to it all, but to me it's overdone, and artistically sloppy. It also leads to a bloated four hour run time, and I think it would have been more powerful condensed. Summary: The film is insidious because the story, its characters, and its production value are all so compelling, and yet the background context is so toxic. Can we mentally set aside those gigantic elephants in the room, and forgive it? Is this like a romantic Southern version of 'War and Peace', where we note that in his epic, Tolstoy didn't write of the ownership and oppression to serfs? Can we see it as the viewpoint of a defeated secessionist country, and understand what de Havilland would say in an interview years later - that "All countries have experienced war and defeat. And survival. They can identify with that film for, I think, that reason." It's tough. Very tough. I can neither love not despise this film.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • May 03, 2018
    4/05/2018 - Gone With The Wind is the most overrated best picture winner ever. At the very end of the 4 hour long film the bratty and selfish Scarlett realises she really did love Rhett all along? Give me a fucken break!
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 05, 2018
    This is the ultimate film and one that will shine in Hollywood forever. The scale is amazing, the story is relenting and the characters remain true throughout. That classic end scene exchange with Rhett and Scarlett is amazing, leaving you with something iconic. The sheer scope of the film is a massive undertaking, I watched this in one sitting, not for the average film goer as it was four hours. Gable and Leigh shine in the lead roles, you are almost tricked to discover that Leigh is the front and centre actor of the film, classic Hollywood had the man as the lead role. I wish they still made epic films of this scope, the last I can think of is Titanic. We have traded storytelling for blockbusters and I think it is a shame, this has so much depth and character development that new films fail to capture. If you see one classic film in your life time, let this film be it. 04-02-2018.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Dec 29, 2015
    Possibly the longest film I have ever seen. They don't make movies like this anymore. Very enjoyable and another classic to cross of my list.
    Ian W Super Reviewer

Gone With the Wind Quotes

News & Features